As more and more authors choose the control and profit margin of self-publishing, one of the first questions they, or perhaps other more financially-oriented friends, will ask is, “How much does it cost and how the heck am I going to pay for it?”
Depending on the length of the book, and to really do it right, a book generally costs between $5000 and $8000 to edit, design, and get out into the distribution channels. That can be quite a chunk of change for some people, but many authors are finding creative ways to surmount that barrier, having fun and building their audience at the same time.
One way that is gaining a lot of attention lately is raising money on Kickstarter. Samizdat author Ethan Bryan put together an attractive and fun initiative that is a good example. Whether or not your project gets funded depends of course on your ability to activate your network to send in enough support. The catch with Kickstarter is that if you don’t raise your goal in the amount of time you set, you don’t get to keep any of it. IndieGoGo, on the other hand, is a site that let’s you keep whatever money you were able to raise, but this method lacks the urgency that typically motivates people to give.
Whether you are interested in either Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, the good folks at Mediabistro put together a few tips that one of their editors, Devon Glenn, discovered. You might want to consider them:
Five Tips for Using Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project
1. Confine your project to the word limit–choose description carefully but give readers a clear visualization of what you are doing.
2. Glenn used a number of free online tools to create her author video. Aviary music creation and audio tools to record herself singing a four-part opera piece, SoundCloud to upload the music track, and the Prelinger Archives for public domain video footage.
3. Create interesting rewards for your sponsors. Glenn will give donors a copy of her book, name characters after some of her donors, and send a postcard from a ghost to some of her donors.
4. Choose your fundraising amount carefully. Glenn chose $1,500 because it would be enough to get the project off the ground without setting an impossible fundraising goal.
5. Use Twitter, Facebook, blogs, email, and your whole network to spread the word–this is a great chance to show your friends and family what you are working on.